How to Clean and Organize Your Pantry
Is you pantry always messy? You know you need to tackle it, but how should you get started? Read on to learn how to clean and organize your pantry.
Remove Everything From Your Pantry
It might see like the job will be easier if you organize while leaving everything in the pantry, but it’s only going to make doing it right even harder. Take everything out so you can get an accurate inventory.
Clear off your kitchen counter or table and place everything out where you can see it. If you see anything right away that is visibly gross or decayed, toss it right away.
Wipe Down Everything in Your Pantry
Once the pantry is empty, take a few minutes to give everything a good cleaning. You can clean with warm, soapy water and a sponge, or even some Clorox wipes.
Taking this time to wipe everything down can help get rid of any spills or greasy areas that might be attracting bugs or mice. You’ll also be cleaning any bacteria that has been building up, which is good for everyone in the home.
Peel up any old contact paper that needs replacing and set new paper down.
Be sure to let everything air dry before you start putting items back into your pantry.
Toss Any Unwanted or Expired Items
Take a look at your expiration dates as you start to put things back into your pantry. Set aside anything that has expired. If you find any items that have been expired for a long time, maybe make a note to save some money by not repurchasing those items in the future. There is no reason to keep buying items that are not being used. Only have it on hand when you actually need it, maybe for a specific recipe.
If you discard any items that are not yet expired, consider donating them to your local food pantry!
Keep an eye out for seasonal items as well. Your jar of pumpkin puree might expire long before fall, so discard it.
Label Items and Sort Into Groups
Do not just throw everything back into the pantry. Think of where you want things to go and group things together.
For example, put all your soups together or group together all of your pastas. If you prefer to group things that go into certain meals, that works as well.
Add labels to any blank containers of food so everyone knows what the contents of the container are. Discard and replace any broken or cracked containers or jars.
It can be helpful to buy small bins or baskets to place smaller things into. This way these items don’t get lost in between everything and risk being wasted.
Prioritize Based on Expiration Dates and Demand
Think of the pantry as a place for your staple items. Consider what you and other members in the household use on a regular basis. If there are any items that no one desires in the pantry, such as a pack of cookies that tasted terrible, discard them. Discard anything you know has a low possibility of being consumed. Don’t hold onto false hope that maybe someone might eat or use something.
When putting things back onto the shelves, be mindful of who uses what and how easy the items are to reach. If you have any kid-friendly snacks, keep them on a lower shelf. Any items that your family eats often, such as popcorn or oatmeal, can be placed in a more central location.
If you have any items that you can use but are about to expire, put them in the front and make a note to find a way to use them up.
In the United States about 40% of food is wasted. When cleaning your pantry, try to make a conscious effort to note the items you should not buy in the future to avoid waste.
Clean Your Pantry Regularly
Your pantry is organized, but the trick is to keep it this way! By keeping your pantry organized, you help create a more efficient kitchen. You avoid food waste and save money.
If cleaning your pantry was a huge feat and now you feel that you need help with the rest of the home, we’d be happy to help! Reach out today for a free quote.